"He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful."
- St. Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
"In choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. He
therefore reveals himself in this way, in order that this great
sacrament of his love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding.
"Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have
followed as he shone in the sky. Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes,
the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.
"Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on
earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe
cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do
not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold
for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.
"So the Gentiles, who were the last, become the first: the faith of
the Magi is the first fruits of the belief in the Gentiles.
"Today Christ enters the Jordan to wash away the sin of the world.
John himself testifies that this is why he has come: Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Today the servant
lays his hand on the Lord, a man lays his hand on God, John lays his hand on
Christ, not to forgive but to receive forgiveness.
"Today, as the psalmist prophesied: The voice of the Lord is heard
above the waters. What does the voice say? This is my beloved Son, in whom
I am well pleased.
"Today the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters in the likeness of a
dove. A dove announced to Noah that the flood had disappeared from the earth;
so now a dove is to reveal that the world's shipwreck is at an end for
ever. The sign is no longer an olive-shoot of the old stock: instead, the
Spirit pours out on Christ's head the full richness of a new anointing by the
Father, to fulfill what the psalmist had prophesied: Therefore God,
your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
"Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning
water into wine. But water [mixed with wine] has still to be changed into
the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from
the chalice of his body, to fulfill the psalmist's prophecy: How excellent
is my chalice, warming my spirit."
(St. Peter Chrysologus)